Given India’s population, its density, concentration in particular geographies and weak state of its institutions of governance, adopting precautionary measures to disaster preparedness becomes imperative. These measures should have roots in deep, systemic scientific analysis based on flexible, responsive governance structures.
A psychological change and not just rules, regulations and institutions are needed for disaster risk reduction. Voluntary compliance of safety norms can be brought about only through sustained investment and creation of innovative ways of risk communication.
Rapid urbanisation in India that has taken place in recent years has paid little attention to preservation of catchments and wetlands. In the absence of these—absorbing rainwater and enabling groundwater recharge, the ill effects of extreme rainfall events has been compounded.
Rapid urbanisation, combined with changing courses of river bodies are posing new challenges for flood management. The existing mechanisms for flood risk mitigation are inadequate for addressing the risks caused by floods in the present scenario. Recent floods in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand are cases in point.
Disaster phases are not linear. They may overlap and even occur simultaneously. The complexities in disaster phases are attributed to the social, cultural, economic, political forces influencing the web of flow— and disaster risk management needs to consider moving beyond conventional notions of phases.
River management in India must be made a priority and strict laws should be enforced to preserve the river space. The floods in Kerala serve as a reminder that serious measures must be taken by the government to combat these natural phenomena.
The definition of disaster has been continuously changing due to the vulnerabilities and risks attached to it. However, despite being defined as natural, disasters tend to have political, cultural, economic and social impacts as well.
The statistics of road accidents in India are alarming. Development and progress on one side translates into a growing motor traffic on the other, and then Indian roads are far from ideal and can hardly ensure a smooth and continuous flow of traffic. No wonder stress on roads coupled with an irate driver inadvertently leads to conflict, road rage and accidents. With the growing population in cities of India , the load on the roads have increased. The smallest error in judgement can injure pedestrians....
It is now widely acknowledged that when disasters occur, not all members of the ‘affected community’ are affected the same way. The earlier literature on gender and disasters over-emphasized women’s vulnerabilities in the aftermath of a disaster due to their care-giving roles. It did not consider the differential vulnerabilities of diverse groups of women based on their class, caste, race, age, occupation or sexual orientations. Similarly, men’s differential vulnerabilities were seldom discussed in the early literature on this subject. After disasters like the 2004 Tsunami and 2005 Hurricane Katrina however, the importance of the intersectionality of gender with race, occupation and class and other axes of social identity became more visible and discussed in the literature. This paper provides an overview of the literature on gender and disasters and calls for the need to nuance identity categories based on their intersectionality and multiplicity to achieve more sensitive and effective disaster responses.
Natural disasters in India are frequent and common. Around 85 per cent of the geographical area in India is vulnerable to natural disasters. Schools get affected every year in these areas. This article has made an attempt to explain how children in disaster prone areas lose access to schooling.